What you must know before going to Dubaï
Climate and weather
In Dubai it is hot, very hot... the best months to go are from December
to March (period considered as the high season) outside temperatures
are sometimes hard to bear. In addition, between May and November
not a drop of rain ...
when it's 40 °C
and the wind blows on you, it's refreshing like
a hairdryer in the face...
Visa & Passport
nationals UE passport is simple enough, there is no need to
apply for a visa before leaving. Arrived at customs, we simply
ask you routine questions: How long will you stay, the purpose
of your visit and what hotel you're down (business or holidays?).
As everywhere, your passport must be valid for another 6 months
after your departure date.
and airport :
Dubai's growing reputation gives to the city an easily accessible
destination. Virtually all the world's airlines
serve the UAE, whether Dubai or Abu Dhabi.
Terminals 1 & 2 of Dubai Airport are reserved for
international flights of all companies except Emirates
(Lufthansa and AirFrance are from Terminal 1).
Terminal 3 is reserved exclusively for Emirates Airlines
for all flights in Departure / Arrival.
Terminal F is for Cargos (hopefully you don't come to the
Emirates by this way).
There is a free shuttle (kind of automated subway) if you
want to get from one terminal to another.
and currency :
The United Arab Emirates got Dirhams (Dhs / AED). It is often easier to
withdraw funds from a machine (ATM) rather to change euros or Swiss Francs
exchange office. 1 € ± 4.25 Dhs.
car and traffic :
Traffic : In Dubai there is a very large number
of different nationalities and everyone has learned to drive
the rules of its own country. Imagine what happens when you mix
all these people : sometimes (often) you get dangerous traffic,
erratic, chaotic, messy ...
So beware if you have appointments on early morning, traffic
jams can make you prefer the subway !
hire : a bit useless to take a car rental
to move to Dubai even if gasoline is cheap, regular heavy
traffic will quickly discourage you (personally I don't recommend,
it's a fu*** misery). By cons, if you want to go to Abu Dhabi
or visit the rest of the UAE, there's no better !
Public taxi : here the fare is regulated by
the authority of Transport (RTA), they are usually recognizable
by their yellow-beige color with
a red roof, green or blue. There is a visible counter with a
minimum of 10 Dhs for the race (sic). Extra Dhs 20 or 25 (in
addition to the
race) from the airport. Some taxis are reserved for women (pink
Private taxi : The cars are more luxurious than
public taxis, but the fare also... You will find them usually
in front of hotels,
they will challenge you to offer you a taxi. Price
can be discussed in advance.
In general, taxis in Dubai are cheap (nothing to do with Paris
or New York ! ) So you can use them for discovering the city
du to their strong presence.
Transportation (bus & metro)
skytrain : the golden saucer shaped stations
are easily recognizable, you can buy your ticket for either a
single trip or for the day or the week from a vending machine.
The main line through the city starting from Jebel Ali to Deira.
secondary line is for traveling from Deira to Bur Dubai.
The bus (internal lines) : The bus stations are air conditioned,
lines crisscross the entire city (The bus map is downloadable
The bus (external lines) : Buses doing long trips are
taken in bus stations, there are 8 in the city. Very cheap transportation
(25 Dhs Dubai Travel > Abu Dhabi, approx. 2 hours drive),
but not necessarily very fast ...
Each country has its habits, here is the one used in Dubai
so you won't look like a
At the restaurant : service is included in the price,
you can leave a tip if the service was up (max 10% of the
Taxis : drivers like to keep the change for them, so you
can give a tip by rounding the note to the next ten.
Hotels : employees expect a small tip 2 or 3 Dhs or more
depending on the service rendered.
Dubai people are living on evening when temperatures are a
bit cooler. It is also not uncommon for restaurants begin to
only from 9pm and know a peak attendance to 22:30.
Alcohol consumption: Only bar and Restaurant located on Hotels
can serve alcohol. If you must breathe during
you have to know that tolerance is 0 gr. Also remember that
being drunk on the street can lead you
in jail !
Weekends and holidays: Friday is considered the weekly day
of rest, administrations will be closed and many shops are
closed in the morning. Dates to remember are statutory holidays
January 1, August 6 and December 2 (National Day).
Attention to the dresscode ! Although Dubai is relatively "soft" against
the outfits always prefer clothes that hide the arms and legs.
Remember that in the Middle East, wearing a shirt and a short
is shocking like walking in underwear ...
Kissing is not allowed ! This is not because it's nice and
warm that you can do whatever you want : the signs of affection
(to hold hand, kiss ...) are prohibited. Do not ask why, it's
langue Arabe :
L'arabe est la langue officielle de Dubaï, mais tout le monde parle anglais
et les panneaux sont indiqués dans les 2 langues. Voici néamoins
les 3 ou 4 mots d'usage à connaitre :
Bonjour : marHaba
Au revoir : ma'al salaama
Oui : na'am
Non : ela
Merci : choukran
Si vous discutez avec un autochtone,
n'hésitez pas à lui demander la prononciation avec l'accent...